Cycling: David Gaudu covers FDJ partner Arnaud Démare on social media

The exchange falls six days earlier on January 20. A certain “David Gaudu” has been chatting with netizens on the Discord platform about his goals for 2023. Yes, this is the real David Gaudu, the French climber who finished fourth in the last Tour de France. The latter is a fan of video games and regularly chats with fans. Only here, in the afternoon, the discussion, which he knows is public, nevertheless turns into a reckoning and a big dumpling.

“I don’t want him to come to the Tour de France”, “The war is not over (sic) / we are on a crusade / the advantage is that we don’t talk to each other and we don’t ride or almost ride together”. Here is a summary of what David Gaudu said that day. Each time he targets the same man: sprinter Arnaud Démare, his teammate at Groupama-FDJ. Through the messages, we quickly learn that the relationship between these two figures of tricolor cycling is icy and even harmful.

The case could not stop there. These spikes have fallen on Twitter, a stronger sounding board, in recent hours. As the exchanges show, David Gaudu was once again aware of this risk. And on Thursday night, he apologized to his 31-year-old colleague and his entire team. “Problems the team may have had to remain internal (sic), I apologize to the team and Arnaud,” he wrote, based on screen captures of the original dispute. He later made a more solemn statement on his Twitter account, repeating the same elements.

“They have already been shouted at! »

Arnaud Démare was well aware of the coming storm if he didn’t react clearly. When asked by Sud-Ouest, manager Marc Madiot did not go out of his way to explain how he handled this internal dispute. “If they’re going to scream?” But they have already shouted! Mayen waved. “They’re not friends, okay. And my job is that they work together, that’s all. They say whatever they want when they’re around their friends, okay, but not on social media.”

The French team didn’t need it to start the season. The context is very special as it is the farewell tour of Thibaut Pinot, who announced his retirement at the end of the year in early January. This transition phase promises to be even more complicated if the two new leaders cannot agree on cycling. To David Gaudu’s dismay, the presence of Netflix cameras inside the team would have aggravated the climate.

Could they be together in the Tour de France?

In any case, the two men are expected to participate in a certain number of races together for now. It starts with Paris-Nice (March 5-12), as confirmed by Marc Madiot. But it is clearly the Tour de France that is of most interest, as their potential co-existence requires cooperation in good intelligence.

David Gaudu is logically aiming for a podium there after his performances last summer. As for Démare, he wants to make his big comeback after his prestigious success at the Giro (three stage wins and the best sprint form in 2022). There are currently two successes (Vittel 2017 and Pau 2018).

“We will see in what conditions we present ourselves at the start with the team announced by Gaudu at the presentation of the next Grande Boucle route in October. I hope it will be like last summer” In other words, a team 100% dedicated to the general classification and no window for the sprinter…

Démare doesn’t see it that way. According to him, there is room for both goals. “My presence will not change much for David (Gaudu), I will be a little bonus,” he said in January, ready to fight without the help of the surrounding train. Mark Madiot will now do everything to ensure that the “small bonus” does not turn into a big pebble in the shoe.

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